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John 5: Requiem
Instrumental Guitar
Rating: 4.0/5.0

John 5 aka John William Lowery found his fame and fortune playing for Marilyn Manson. But don't hold that against him. John 5 is a premier guitarist, a Malmsteem for the 21st century. He shreds with the best. His music is hardly innovative unless he picks up the acoustic guitar or banjo. It is, however, slick and astonishing. John 5 moves and grooves with a modern nearly industrial sound. His guitar work is efficiently accessible and highly believable. Last year's 'The Devil Knows My Name' garnered the shred album of the year from Guitar Player magazine. With 'Requiem' you get more of the same: highly skilled fret work without the help of guest musicians.

Throughout 'Requiem' you receive expertise shredding. In between, John 5 again experiments with some non-traditional expectations from a rock and metal guitarist. As for the best of the fret work listen for the opening track 'Sounds Of Impalement' and also 'Cleansing The Soul,' Heretic's Fork,' and 'The Judas Cradle.' 'Noisemaker's Fire' has interesting acoustic opening that leads to fine guitar work. 'The Lead Sprinkler' gives a more melodic rock fell than traditional metal shredding. As I alluded to earlier, there are some interesting interludes where Mr. Lowery explores some unconventional avenues. 'Pity Belt' has an obvious country feel verging upon mid-south bluegrass. To top this, Mr. 5 brings out the banjo on 'Pear Of Anguish.' Maybe this comes from his interaction with Lynyrd Skynryd, but I don't think John 5 should give up his day job. All though most who do not favor lead guitar work, especially of the neo-classical sense, will find this work monotonous, it is still a fine work. The only filler I could find on the album was the closing number 'Scavenger's Daughter. Except for the conclusion, this song is predictable and boring.

John 5 has proved once again that he can rival his peer and predecessors on 'Requiem.' He's a fine guitarist and a superb shredmeister. Also, he takes time to explore new genres. Though he's hardly exceptional when pursuing country or bluegrass, John 5 still excels in enthusiasm. Very recommended to those who love classical metal and rock guitar work.
- Craig Hartranft

In Short

John 5 may be the modern Malmsteen As on 'The Devil Knows My Name,' John 5 bleeds his guitar of every note as he travels the scales on 'Requiem.' You may say that it is more of the same. But John 5 is still a phenomenal guitarist.

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